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House of the Dragon: Will Viserys’ son Aegon Targaryen become the king?

Emily Carey stars as Alicent Hightower, mother of Aegon Targaryen, in Episode 3 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Emily Carey stars as Alicent Hightower, mother of Aegon Targaryen, in Episode 3 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Ever since House of the Dragon started, the biggest question being asked is who will rule after King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) dies.

At first, it seemed like his younger brother, Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), would take his place. This was due to the set-up that showed Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best) was the closest in line to succession to King Jaehaerys I, but because she was a girl, she was overlooked and Viserys was selected instead.

However, Daemon tends to fall on the side of the Targaryen coin that favors madness and violence, and when he mocked the death of Viserys’ firstborn son, he was banished back to the Vale. Viserys then named his daughter, Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), as his rightful heir.

Now, in Episode 3 of House of the Dragon, it has been revealed that not only has Viserys remarried but his new wife, Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) has produced a son, Aegon, who is now two years old.

While the king still insists Rhaenyra is his rightful heir, many are in favor of Aegon ruling in her place.

So, does Aegon actually become the king?

Aegon Targaryen is presently second in line to the Iron Throne

While the precedence has been set that male heirs are preferred when it comes to royal succession, Viserys has decided to change that.

And, when others question his logic, he doubles down on who is next in line.

Currently, Aegon is only two years old so it makes sense to have a much older sibling be named heir in their place.

However, many in the realm believe Aegon is the true heir to the Iron Throne and this will likely cause conflict should Viserys maintain his stance regarding Rhaenyra.

Paddy Considine stars as King Viserys, father of Aegon Targaryen, in Episode 3 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Paddy Considine stars as King Viserys, father of Aegon Targaryen, in Episode 3 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO

Does Aegon Targaryen become king in the book?

House of the Dragon is based on a book by George R. R. Martin called Fire and Blood. This massive tome tells the story of House Targaryen, so readers will already know the truth about Aegon Targaryen.

For viewers who don’t want potential spoilers from the book, now is your time to look away. For everyone else, let’s find out what happens to Aegon.

Viserys continues to claim Rhaenyra as his heir right up until his death.

However, Rhaenyra does not initially hear the news of her father’s death as it was kept from her. Instead, Aegon is crowned king by those who believe the eldest male child of Viserys should rule.

When Rhaenyra eventually finds out, she is suitably unimpressed by this.

Milly Alcock stars as Rhaenyra Targaryen in Episode 3 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Milly Alcock stars as Rhaenyra Targaryen in Episode 3 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

This led to what is known as the Dance of Dragons, which was a civil war between House Targaryen involving Rhaenyra and Aegon.

Eventually, Rhaenyra is victorious and she claims the Iron Throne but her rule will only last six months.

Aegon takes over Dragonstone while Rhaenyra is in King’s Landing and, when she returns, her younger half-brother captures her and feeds her to his dragon, Sunfyre, while her son looks on.

Aegon then went on to rule until his death which was a suspected poisoning, although no one was clearly identified as the person who killed him.

As pointed out by Sci-Fi and Fantasy Gazette, Rhaenyra’s fate has already been revealed in HBO’s original epic fantasy series, Game of Thrones. In Season 3, Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) told Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) that “Rhaenyra Targaryen was murdered by her brother, or rather his dragon.”

“It ate her while her son watched. What’s left of her is buried in the crypts right down there,” he continued.

How this plays out in the TV series remains to be seen, though, and viewers will have to tune in to find out how closely House of the Dragon follows the book storyline.

House of the Dragon airs every Sunday night at 9/8c on HBO Max.

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